Feather tattoos are often a desirable choice of tattoo for women. Despite their popularity, they are nonetheless meaningful and often unique in design. Frequently associated with flight and birds, plumage principally represents freedom, courage, fortitude and wisdom. There are a multitude of different feather designs and depictions to choose from, and if you’re considering a tattoo it’s important to think of ways you can make the tattoo unique and special for you.
Firstly you’ll need to consider the placement of your tattoo, as well as the size. Where you get your ink, as well as how big it is, will drastically change the ultimate aesthetic. It’s therefore important to think hard about what kind of look you want to achieve.
Feathers tend to be on the smaller size, either equal to or a little smaller than real-life size feathers. However, there’s no reason why you can’t break the trend and opt for a bigger design if that appeals to you.
If you’re considering getting a feather tattoo, then look no further. In this article, we’ll take you through a variety of ideas to inspire you.
60+ Feather Tattoo Design Ideas
Are you interested in getting a striking, colorful tattoo? Then a peacock feather is possibly the best choice for you. The most appealing thing about peacock plumage is the range of rich, beautiful colors which will stand out on any skin tone.
However, as well as just being aesthetically attractive, the peacock feather represents pride, honor, courage and grandeur. This is an especially good design to opt for if you want something that will symbolize self-confidence and self-love. In some traditions, peacock feathers symbolize protection as well, and can act as a defence against malevolent spirits. All this makes the peacock feather a wonderful tattoo choice!
Eagle Feather Tattoo
The eagle is widely considered one of the most majestic and regal birds, but it also carries a great deal of symbolism. In Native American culture, eagle feathers are worn to show respect and honor. Indeed, they are often gifted as a reward for acts of bravery and strength. Women who embody these very characteristics would be well suited to an eagle feather tattoo.
Phoenix Feather Tattoo
The phoenix is a particularly popular tattoo choice, both depicted in its entirety or just as a single feather. This is because it carries powerful symbolism pertaining to birth, death and even rebirth.
In mythology, the phoenix is often portrayed perishing and then being reborn from the ashes in an act of renewal. This same symbolism is shown even in modern day fiction, like in Harry Potter.
If you feel like you yourself have overcome a significant life struggle and you feel reborn, then a phoenix feather may be just the tattoo for you. It’s up to you whether you go for a color or monochrome tattoo, but phoenix feathers are often most striking in bright orange and reddish tones which connote flames.
Turkey Feather Tattoo
A turkey might not strike you as the most beautiful bird, but their plumage is in fact vivid, shimmery and brightly colored. Turkeys are also associated with fertility and opulence which are both feminine attributes. If you want a slightly off-the-wall feather tattoo that is nonetheless aesthetically pleasing, then why not opt for a turkey feather?
Hawk Feather Tattoo
If you’re looking for a tattoo that will remind you of your inner strength and fierce spirit, then a hawk feather tattoo might be just the ticket. Hawk’s are often associated with protection and sanctuary, so can be seen to represent a healing turning point in one’s life.
If you’ve come out strong from a difficult experience, you should definitely consider getting a hawk’s plumage inked as a symbol of your hardiness. Note, however, that it’s a complex feather to draw so make sure you find an experienced tattoo artist who can do it justice.
Owl Feather Tattoo
When it comes to your body art, you might want to consider an owl feather tattoo due its immense symbolism. This nocturnal bird is linked with wisdom and infinite knowledge, and is a significant animal in mythology and cultural tradition.
For Native Americans, for example, the owl is considered the keeper of knowledge, whereas in Ancient Rome an owl’s hoot was often thought to mark an important death. This powerfully symbolic feather is a wonderful choice for a plume-inspired tattoo.
Native American Feather Tattoo
When we think of Native American people, we immediately think of the headdress decorated with feathers. Feathers are hugely important in Native American culture and possess a multitude of different meanings.
For example, feathers can represent strength, protection and courage. When worn by warriors, feathers are displayed almost like medals to show achievement and bravery. If you do opt for a Native American tattoo, make sure you carry out thorough research and are sensitive and respectful to the culture so as to avoid offending anyone with your design.
Bird with Feather Tattoo
While there are many meanings attached to feathers, perhaps the most romantic is the notion of freedom. If you’ve ever looked up at the birds in the sky and wished you could just take flight like them, then you might want to consider getting a tattoo which combines birds and feathers. Such a design will undoubtedly connote freedom and remind you of your own free will, even if you can’t literally fly away.
Small Feather Tattoo
If you prefer daintier, less conspicuous tattoos, then you’re probably better off getting a smaller feather tattoo. While it will be less visible than a large one, there’s no reason why it should be less detailed or striking. Plus, it can be easily hidden away if you need to cover up your tattoos at work, for example.
Infinity Feather Tattoo
The infinity symbol is independently a hugely popular tattoo choice because it represents the continuity of time. However, to make it more unique and eye-catching, some choose to combine the symbol with feathers. The combined symbolism of infinity plus freedom makes for a powerful image to get inked on your body.
Tribal Style Feather Tattoo
The tribal-style feather tattoo is particularly linked to the Native American people who adorn their weaponry and headpieces with feathers. By getting a feather tattoo in the tribal style you’re connoting ancient Native American culture, so it’s very important to do ample research to ensure you’re not getting anything inked which could potentially be offensive.
Watercolor Feather Tattoo
Although a relatively new concept, watercolor tattoos are growing more and more popular. Just like in a watercolor painting, the vibrant colours blend into each other to create a beautiful waterfall look. Images from nature, such as animals and flowers work extremely well with watercolor ink so feathers made in the style would be a fine choice of tattoo.
The only thing to bear in mind with watercolor tattoos is that the ink tends to fade faster than with regular tattoos. It’s therefore recommended that you get some bold black outlines to the design and opt for a placement where it will be mostly hidden from the sun.
Colorful Feather Tattoo
If you don’t have a specific bird in mind for your feather tattoo, you can simply go for a bold and brightly colored generic feather. This will inevitably be an eye-catching look and can complement any skin tone. However, color tattoos usually fade faster than monochrome ones, so you might need to get a touch up every couple of years. You should also make sure to limit sun exposure so that it doesn’t fade too quickly.
Crown and Feather Tattoo
You might not have thought of combining these two seemingly dissimilar images, but they actually work remarkably well together. A crown is associated with royalty and leadership, while the feather connotes freedom and bravery. Combining the two will create a design rich with symbolism, associated with regal liberty.
Dream Catcher Feather Tattoo
Just like feathers, dream catchers are an integral part of Native American culture. It therefore makes sense to combine these richly symbolic elements to create a striking and intricate tattoo. The symbolism of the design will vary according to the bird you choose. For example, an owl feather will also conjure the idea of wisdom into the mix.
Quill Feather Tattoo
If you’re a fan of Harry Potter then you’ll know about old fashioned feather quills used for writing. As well as being highly aesthetic, they also connote communication and tradition. If you opt for this design you can also add a meaningful quote giving an even more profound meaning to your ink.
Feather Tattoo Placement Ideas
Wrist Feather Tattoo
If you want your new tattoo to be in plain sight, then it’s a great idea to get it done on your wrist. This is a very popular placement for women because it stands out, but also because it looks very cute and glamorous.
If you do opt to get inked on your wrist, be aware that it tends to be quite a painful spot due to bones and tendons in that area. It’s also best to go for something on the simpler side and save your complex and intricate designs for the arms and back.
Foot Feather Tattoo
The first thing to bear in mind with foot tattoos is that they’re particularly painful and can take longer to heal than other places on the body. Having fresh ink in the area will also make certain shoes uncomfortable for a period of time too. However, the good thing about this placement is that it’s very easy to cover should you want to. There’s also ample space to get a more complicated design if that’s something you’re after.
Forearm Feather Tattoo
If you’re looking to get a larger tattoo and would like to be highly visible, then why not opt for a forearm placement? The big plus of most locations on the arm is that pain is minimal due to the thickness of the skin. It’s also a great spot to show off your ink in t-shirts and dresses if you want others to notice it.
Feather Tattoo Behind the Ear
Behind the ear tattoos have become very popular within the last decade or so, and it’s not hard to see why. This placement has an understated, almost nonchalant feel to it as it’s mostly seen by others and not the wearer.
However, behind the ear is a painful spot to get inked as the skin is very thin in this area. But the good news is that the design will have to be small so the pain won’t last long at all.
Hand Feather Tattoo
While hand tattoos are very visible and can play with the contours of your fingers, it’s a spot that takes particular care and attention. This is because the skin tends to rejuvenate most in this area and also suffers the most exposure to the elements, e.g. sun and water. This often means the tattoo will need topping up every couple of years to keep it looking its best.
Feather Neck Tattoo
In the past, neck tattoos were mostly associated with prisoners and gang members, however this stereotype is rapidly changing and celebrities such as Rihanna sport the look. This is largely because tattoos in general are becoming more accepted in society and tend to have far less negative associations.
Bear in mind that if you opt for this placement, you will likely experience a high degree of discomfort as the skin is particularly thin in this area. You should also consider whether or not you’ll encounter difficulties in the professional sphere on account of your neck tattoo, as some corporate environments still look down on highly visible tattoos.
Feather Finger Tattoo
Finger tattoos are very popular with women because they are so slight and delicate. If you want something very simple and modest that will still get noticed, then this is a great tattoo placement for you.
Feathers work particularly well on the finger because the shape complements the length of the finger. Be aware, however, that finger tattoos tend to fade faster than other tattooed areas of the body.
You can combat this by going for frequent top-ups, although this can get expensive.
Also Read: Are Finger Tattoos a Bad Idea?
Ankle Feather Tattoo
Finally, the ankle is a very attractive spot for feminine tattoos as the area works great with smaller, more delicate designs like feathers. It’s also a very easy area to cover up should you need to be discreet with your tattoos in a work or family situation. However, you can expect the pain level to be a little higher in this area because it’s a sensitive spot.
And there you have it, countless ideas for symbolism, imagery and placement to inspire your feather tattoo. Whatever you opt for, make sure you’ve taken the time to choose a design that compliments your personality well.